Monday, June 19, 2017

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees written by Mary Beth Leatherdale and illustrated by Eleanor Shakespeare is a book recommended for anyone between the ages of 10 and 100.
Leatherdale crafts a narrative about the lives of five different refugee youth from the last century.  Featured in the book are Ruth from Germany, Phu from Vietnam, Jose from Cuba, Najeeba from Afghanistan, and Mohamed from the Ivory Coast. There is plenty of background information regarding each refugee's situation.  Despite each refugee being from a different cultural background, there are many similarities in their stories.  Leatherdale begins the book with Ruth leaving Nazi Germany because she is Jewish.  Starting that way makes the story stronger, as it is a sad, but very well known wrong in world history.  It continues on to more current stories, which makes me realize that such tragedy still happens in our world. 
With the refugee crisis a current political issue, this book should be required reading in any social studies class.  Anyone who knows a refugee would find this worth reading as well.  

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Storm's Coming!

Storm's Coming! by Margi Preus and illustrated by David Geister is a book anyone who has visited the North Shore of Minnesota would enjoy.  Sophie lives on Lake Superior at Split Rock Lighthouse with her family.  She knows the weather signs and goes about telling her brothers and sisters that the storm is coming.  This book would also be good to share with students on a unit about nature's signals.  At the end of the story there is a page explaining the different signs, which was new information for me.  Good for middle or older level elementary students, adults will find the story engaging as well.  I added it to my list of books to share with students highlighting Minnesota.    

Thursday, April 13, 2017

No Scrap Left Behind

No Scrap Left Behind is the newest book in my collection.  It is by my sister, and I enjoyed paging through it the first time.  I knew she was writing a book, but wasn't sure which quilts were going to be in it.  The one on the cover is one I want to try to make, as well as the mini nines quilt, though I am not going to make my squares quite so small.  If you like making or admiring quilts, this book is worth looking at.  There are also a few small projects at the end of the book for people who might not want to commit to making a quilt but have scraps from other sewing projects. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Agnes and Clarabelle


Agnes and Clarabelle by Adele Griffin and Courtney Sheinmel is a fun book for early elementary students.  It is a beginning chapter book with great characters and pictures  Agnes and Clarabelle are best friends and enjoy an adventure for each season.  For spring, the two friends plan a surprise birthday party.  Summer finds them on a trip to the beach, while in the fall they go shopping and in the winter they make pizza.  The antics of Agnes and Clarabelle made me smile because of the real life situations in which they find themselves and how they solve their problems.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Mr. Goat's Valentine

I came across Mr. Goat's Valentine by Eve Bunting and illustrated by Kevin Zimmer at the library yesterday and I am glad I did.  When Mr. Goat realizes it is Valentine's Day, he knows it is time to find a gift for his first love.  He sets out and collects a variety of unusual items for his first love and then delivers them himself.  His first love ends up being his mother, though the reader doesn't know that until the very last page.  If you spend time with preschool or elementary students, it would be worth getting from the library to share with them.  The Day it Rained Hearts is still my favorite Valentine book, though this one is now number two on my list.  Do you have any favorite books for Valentine's Day?

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

new year, new hobby

Yesterday I went bird watching.  There is a Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society, and I took part.  The group I was part of has been meeting for years here in town.  We met up in the morning at a restaurant, and then we were put into groups .  Each group was assigned to cover a certain part of the area surrounding town.  We drove around, looking for birds, sometimes stopping to see if a grove of trees had any birds.  We also stopped when an individual saw a bird.  Then those with binoculars would try to determine what kind of bird it was.  The surprise to me is that we saw eighteen unique species-despite it being in Minnesota in winter.  Some of those were three kinds of woodpeckers, at least one dark-eyed junco, snow buntings, two types of finches, lots of blue jays, six robins, two cardinals, along with some turkeys and pheasants.  It was good to go with others (I didn't know what a junco was and didn't have binoculars either), but bird watching might be my new hobby.  I like the idea of it, as I don't need to invest in a lot of stuff (probably just another bird guide and a set of binoculars).  It is also something I can do anywhere and it doesn't produce stuff, though I will likely start a notebook to track what I have seen as well as when and where I saw certain birds.